OKC VeloCity | Launch Metro OKC platform brings local entrepreneurial resources to one place

Launch Metro OKC platform brings local entrepreneurial resources to one place

By Marcus Elwell / Economy / September 11, 2020

For startups and small business owners, a good idea or product is a great start to success but it is just the beginning. An entrepreneur’s access to capital, resources, mentors and more can be the difference between triumph and failure.

The Launch OKC Metro platform is helping connect entrepreneurs with those resources that will give them a better chance at sustained success.

Launch Metro OKC, which went live on Aug. 12, was built to service every aspect of the entrepreneur ecosystem. Users can find everything from educational content, connections with mentors, community discussions, events calendars and a whole lot more. One of the most appealing aspects of Launch Metro OKC is its costs to users – nothing.

Francis Tuttle Technology Center and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber partnered to bring Startup Space and Launch OKC Metro to the city’s growing startup community.

Launch Metro OKC can be accessed through app or desktop via Startup Space. Founded in 2018, Startup Space is a national company that brings its entrepreneur platform to states, cities, universities and other organizations. Startup Space is active in more than 64 countries and 150 cities worldwide.

Interestingly enough, Startup Space was born out of the failure – not the success – of its founder David Ponraj. After his business closed, Ponraj spent a lot of time analyzing why his good idea didn’t pan out. 

“A few months after we closed, I discovered all these resources in the community I wasn’t aware of. I could have gotten an SBA grant. I could have gone and talked to a local incubator. There was a local meetup that I wasn’t aware of that helped founders get off the ground,” Ponraj told the Oklahoma City chapter of 1Million Cups. “There were all these resources in the community that I could have used to launch my business. I was shocked because this is what I do for a living and I still wasn’t aware of these resources. I told myself there had to be a better way to connect the communities.”

Ponraj also said he wanted to help those who might not have easy access to these resources. 

“How do you reach that single mother who has to choose between going to a meetup and putting her kids to bed,” said Ponraj. “We want to give her the luxury of putting her kids to bed, getting back to her desk and still being able to plug into her community.”

While the platform is useful for everyone from serial entrepreneurs to service provides, Startup Space says their core audience is everyday entrepreneurs.

“We like to think of Startup Space as a community-building tool for entrepreneurs and the small business community,” said Lily Shaw, director of marketing and customer experience for Startup Space. “We are a platform to bring resources to the community. We want to help them get started, to build their business and to scale their business. We are a virtual community for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses to be able to be connected to the things they need.”

Users can access the app on Google Play or the Apple Store. Once signed up, simply set Oklahoma City as your community to begin accessing local resources and tools.

For people interested in entrepreneurship, check out Ponraj’s weekly podcast called Breaking Down Barriers.

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